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Stuffed Acorn Squash With Quinoa And Persimmons

If you don't have access to persimmons, consider substituting apples in this tasty winter recipe.


Persimmons are a firm-fleshed orange fruit that’s usually used for baking. I loved the idea of taking these in a savory direction, using them as part of the filling for an acorn squash stuffing. This could also be used to stuff butternut squash. If you can’t find persimmons, apples or pears would be a nice alternative.

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Persimmons

Makes 2 main course servings or 4 side servings


  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1/2 cup red quinoa
  • 2 small persimmons (about 3/4 cup chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Swiss chard
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup Daiya dairy-free cheese or Parmesan
  • 3 sage leaves ( 1/4-1/2 teaspoon dried sage)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chipotle chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Wash the squash, then slice off each end. Cut in half. (It’s a little easier to cut them in half lengthwise, but the finished dish looks more like an acorn if you cut it crosswise as pictured.) Scoop out the seeds using a grapefruit spoon. Put the seeds in a small bowl of water.
  2. Place the squash cut-side down in an oiled baking pan. Bake 30-40 minutes until soft. Leave the oven on.
  3. While it is baking, remove all the stringy bits of the squash from the seeds and rinse them clean. Place in a small saucepan with a cup of filtered water and 2-3 t. of sea salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Drain.
  4. Rinse and drain the quinoa, then add 1 cup water or vegetable broth (add 1/2 teaspoon miso if using water). Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer for 15 minutes on low. Turn off and let sit, then fluff with a fork.
  5. Chop the chard and place in a large bowl. Core the persimmons and chop into about 1/2” dice. Add to the bowl. Mince the sage leaves. Add the pine nuts, cooked quinoa, cheese, spices, and stir to mix.
  6. When the squash is cooked, put the baking pan on your work counter (on a towel or hot pads) and flip the squash right-side up. Using a fork to hold it steady, scoop out the cooked squash with a grapefruit spoon, adding it to your filling bowl. Be careful not to poke through the skin. Leave about 1/2 inch of flesh inside.
  7. Mix the squash evenly into the filling, then taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Pack it into a rounded 1 cup measure and invert it into the squash halves. Put the squash seeds in one corner of the pan, adding a small amount of olive oil and some smoked paprika. Stir to coat the seeds.
  8. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted. Top with the toasted seeds and a drizzle of garlic olive oil.

Courtesy of Recipe Renovator

Stephanie Weaver

Stephanie Weaver is a writer and wellness advocate who lives in San Diego. Her specialty is remaking recipes with healthy ingredients: low-sodium, gluten-free and migraine-friendly. She has a Master's in public health in nutrition education from the University of Illinois. Visit her blog Recipe Renovator.

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